“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
The prophet Ezekiel once had a remarkable vision of some of the ancient nations that had been cast into hell. All had been founded by men who had once known the true God of creation, but had all forgotten Him as they gradually descended into apostasy. “Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, . . . The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: . . . Asshur is there and all her company: . . . There is Elam and all her multitude. . . . There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: . . . There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, . . . of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, . . . even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 32:18,21,22,24,26,29,30,32).
These nations in hell (i.e., Sheol, the great abyss in the center of the earth) are not nations per se, of course, but the ungodly people—especially the leaders—of those nations. Right after the warning in our text, the psalmist concludes by saying: “Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah” (Psalm 9:20).
Is it possible that such a fate awaits even a nation like America? It is good that many in our nation are taking God more seriously today, but will it last? It is important to remember and honor our founding fathers, and the other heroes of past and present, but infinitely more important not to forget God as so many of our people have done during the half-century just past. Not just any “god,” of course, but the one true God of creation and salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ. “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). HMM